It is Mother’s Day in the United States on Sunday, May 11. A day, when children buy flowers for their mothers, make them greeting cards and show them love and gratitude in different ways. It is indeed a very special day for mommies. In Slovenia-the country where I come from, we celebrate Mother’s Day on March 25. Ever since I became a mother, this day is of a great value for me. My heart is filled with joy when I receive greeting cards and bunch of kisses from my boy, especially now, when he is big enough to say the sweetest words: “Mommy, I love you.”
Being a mother is the greatest blessing for a woman. When you are a single mom, the blessing is double. Most women are wondering, how in the world they will raise their child alone. It is a common question when a mother finds herself in such situation. I know that, because I have been there. There is not a single manual in the world, which could prepare you for the role of a single mother. Suddenly, you are in a situation where you have to do everything alone. From morning until dawn, you have to be there for your child. What may seem hard at first, becomes completely self-evident.
The first thing, that you will realize as a single mom is that your life becomes a routine. Waking up in the morning, taking your children to the kindergarten or to school, go to work (if you are lucky enough to have a job), pick children up, go home, cook dinner, put children to sleep and then finally, a moment of blissful silence and peace. Does that sound familiar? You know, that moment of silence, when you pour yourself a glass of wine and just sit on a sofa, enjoying some peaceful moment? And then all of a sudden you remember a million things that you need to do. From cleaning, doing laundry, ironing and who knows how many other things. While you are rushing to get done with the cleaning, the bulb burns out and all of a sudden you find yourself in the dark. And if that was not bad enough, you step on one of the toy cars, that your child somehow forgot in the middle of the kitchen. By the time you finish up, you cannot wait to take a shower and just go to sleep. While lying in bed, thousands of things cross your mind and even though you are barely keeping your eyes open, you are already making plans for the weekend, because the forecast is sunny and it would be a shame to waste a day like this. Just an hour after you fall asleep, your alarm goes off, as it is time to start a new day.
No matter how crazy it may sound, routine is what saves me daily. Since my son knows, that after dinner, it is time to brush his teeth and go to sleep, I do not have to argue with him on that. Life becomes easy when you make some guidelines to follow. And if you follow them, so will your children. Teaching them to clean up after themselves may sound hard, but learning always takes time and patience. Make your children feel proud of their accomplishments. Compliment them, award them and most importantly, be there for them. Love them for who they are and not for who they could be. Being a single mom can be hard, but it can be awarding in so many ways. Especially when your child comes home from the kindergarten or school on Mother’s Day and he brings you a greeting card or a drawing, which he made just for you.
The second thing, that you will learn as a single mom is that it is very hard to find a job. Believe me; it took me almost three years to find it. It is pretty simple actually; no one will give a job to a single mom, especially if your child is often sick or if you do not have anyone else to look after your child. My son is in the kindergarten and this is basically it. His grandparents are both still working, so I would have to hire a nanny if I would want to work during the time, when my child is not in the kindergarten. And since nannies are expensive, I would probably give her half of my salary. Work from home is a great idea for single mothers. You can arrange your time and do the work while children are in the kindergarten or at school. You can cook dinner while working, so by the time your children come home, you have everything done and you can spend the rest of the day with them. Since we live in an era of internet and rapidly evolving technology, work from home is becoming more and more wide-spread.
The next thing, that you will learn as a single mom is that when your child gets sick, there will be no sleep for you. There is no one else to measure his temperature, to give him medicine at certain hours and no one else to comfort your child when he is in pain and crying. There is only you, his safe haven and his everything. You will find yourself sneaking into your child’s room in the middle of the night, just to make sure that his temperature has fallen and that he is still breathing. Not just single moms, every mom does that. But the difference is that a single mom has no one by her side. No one to tell her that her child will be ok, that he is just ill and that this is all completely normal. Your parents can tell you that, but it feels different if you have a partner, who is there to support you and to be there for you. Nevertheless, after your child gets better and well, you soon forget about all the sleepless nights. Until the next time at least.
The last thing, which you will learn as a single mother is that being single, becomes something normal. Very soon, you will get sick of dating, men and drama. But before you start blaming men, you should realize the fact, that it can be very hard to accept someone else’s child. Every man can say that he can do it, but only time can tell if he really means it. Some say that just to get you into bed. But there are some, who really mean it. The catch here is that often we meet too many liars and because of that, maybe we miss an opportunity with someone who really means it. It is hard to say who is lying and who is not. We all want to be loved; it is a part of our human nature. Some men are actually good at taking advantage of that, promising you castles in the clouds and when it gets serious, they flee. However, we should learn from our mistakes. And most importantly, never search for love. Let it find you. There is somebody for each one of us. When the time is right, everything falls into its place. Pursuing love is the worst thing to do. Men smell desperate women. And they use them. Do not let yourself think that you are not good enough for someone just because you are bringing a child into a relationship. A real man will love your child as much as he loves you. Do not settle for anything less than that. Your child is a part of you and if a man is incapable of loving you both, then he does not deserve you. It takes a very strong man to accept someone else’s child and to step up to the plate, which another man left on the table. But if your man is capable of that, be sure that he is a keeper.
No matter what life brings you ladies, always keep a smile on your face. I know that life can get hard, especially if you are a single mom. But when it does get hard, remember that you are everything to your child. You are his comfort, his safe haven, his teacher, his friend and his biggest love. Children are a mirror of our soul; they reflect all of our actions. If you are happy, so will be your child. If you are a single mom, it really is twice the work, twice the tears and twice the stress, but it is also twice the kisses, twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride. Happy Mother’s Day!
By Janette Verdnik